69 Years ago yesterday, November 14th, General Vlasov challenged Stalin
It is ironic when one uses the term “Russian” revolution when one considers that the first central committee of the USSR, the unit that called the shots, was composed of a mere seven people – three of whom were Jews. The CheKa, the secret police force that committed the red terror, was of a similar composition. Chekists Bela Kun and Rosaliya Samoilova were responsible for the murder of over 52,000 anti-communist Russian officers over a period of just a few months in the Crimea. Yakov Urovsky, Peter Voykov, and Filip Goloschekin planned and committed the brutal murder of the Tsar, his wife, and their children. Naftaly Frenkel, hailing from Turkey, invented the gulag concentration camp system. The list goes on. By 1941, millions had been executed and incarcerated. The country had seen unprecedented hunger and deprivation. The Orthodox Church was almost entirely wiped out.
After the Russian civil war ended, numerous strikes and rebellions continued from inside but could not succeed due to the deep reach of the secret police. Be it no surprise that when a foreign army arrived on June 22, 1941, many Russians were not only relieved, but even offered to volunteer their services. Their vision was to turn a foreign war into a civil one. Throughout the course of 1941 to 1945, approximately 1 million citizens of the Soviet Union agreed to serve the German army as combatants or in an assisting capacity. This occurrence is absolutely unprecedented in Russia’s millennial history.
The Wehrmacht was flooded with numerous proposals for the formation of a Russian government and liberation army. The most promising opportunity came by way of general Andrey Vlasov, a captive Red Army commander who was popular thanks to his defense of Moscow. Vlasov’s plan of an independent liberation movement which would respect Russian territorial integrity and install a Russian government received a lot of enthusiasm. Numerous Red Army soldiers defected in hopes of joining Vlasov’s army.
Alas, the actual approval for Vlasov to act came too late. The Prague Manifesto was read onNovember 14, 1944, when Soviet forces had overrun a good part of Eastern Europe. Despite the dismal prospects for Vlasov’s movement at this time, it is amazing how many volunteered to join his ranks, knowing that they would receive no mercy from Stalin for doing so. One of the army’s three divisions managed to double its size from the start to the end of its expedition.
One of Vlasov’s closest allies was captain Constantine Kromiadis, a Greek born in Corfu who had previously fought on the side of the anti-communist White army during the Russian civil war. Kromiadi’s diplomatic skills played a key role in uniting Vlasov’s movement with other existing Russian movements.
When the war ended, hope prevailed amidst Vlasov’s men that the “freedom loving nations” would be sympathetic to their cause. Unbeknownst to them, both Churchill and Roosevelt made a secret agreement with Stalin at the Yalta conference to repatriate these men and their families to the USSR. Using trickery and force, British, American, and French military police rounded up men, women, and children to help Stalin continue his genocide of the Russian people.